History and Systems Syllabus

History & Systems

Professor: Dr. Travis Langley
Contact:   langlet@hsu.edu 

Required textbook:
Schultz, D. P., & Schultz, E. S. (2012). A history of modern psychology (10th ed.).

Overview: This course looks at psychology’s roots. It explores the history of psychology (including pre-1879 views on the nature of “mind”) and systems, the comprehensive bodies/schools of thought that have exerted great influence in the field. Where did psychology come from, what is it now, and where might it go in the future? Topics of discussion include free will vs. determinism, nature vs. nurture, speculation vs. empiricism, convergence vs. divergence, and so much more. Structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism, psychoanalysis, and Gestalt psychology  are the major approaches examined here for their influence on contemporary (modern) psychology.


Chapters 1-4.

Chapters 4-8.

Chapters 9-11.

Chapters 12-14.

FINAL: CUMULATIVE plus chapter 15.


Each unit will conclude with a 40-item multiple choice exam covering lecture notes, assigned readings, and class discussion. Bring number 2 pencils for every test. Any answer marked wrong due to an incomplete erasure is simply wrong. Bring your own Scantron answer sheet for each test.

On every test, put your name and ID number on the front of the answer sheet and on the back of your test. Follow instructions to put your test and answer sheet face down and in the right stack; otherwise the Scantron machine might grade the back of your answer sheet or grade it according to the wrong answer key.

There will be NO makeup tests, so don’t even ask unless you’ve missed two tests and can prove you had great reasons for both excused absences. As long as you do not miss any tests, your lowest test will be dropped, unless it is the final exam. If you do miss a regular test but have an excused absence, the missing test will be the one that gets dropped. Don’t miss the final; you can’t drop it.


Test questions range in difficulty to get an accurate idea of exactly how much you know and understand about the course material. I do not feel it is right to establish a curve based on the highest grade in the class, in which case only one score would determine everyone’s grade. The scale on the 40-point tests (although bonus credit makes them worth more than 40) is simply this:

A 35.1 –>              B 30.1 – 35.0         C 25.1 – 30.0         D 20.1 – 25.0         F    <– 20.0

Your professor reserves the right to assign other values for these grade cutoffs. The professor also reserves the right to subtract any number of points from the grade of someone who disrupts class, or to assign a course grade of F to someone caught cheating. If you walk into class late, take a seat in the back instead of walking through the class and being a distraction. Anyone caught cheating will also be referred for University disciplinary measures.

Writing across the Curriculum:   The last question on every test except the final will be “What else did you learn from the current course material that was not otherwise covered by this test?” For that question, you will need to explain concepts in complete sentences, making certain that you are not simply copying the wording as it appears in the book. Convince me you understand.

There can be other essay questions to assess your understanding of material. The next to last question on each test other than the final will be a diagnostic question like those you will see on the final.


You will write an APA-style paper comparing two important figures from the history of psychology. Your grade on the paper will be equal to one test. The paper will be due when you take your final exam.

Your grade for your related PowerPoint presentation plus assignments you do along the way to help you create the paper and presentation will also be equal to one test. You will present the PowerPoint either as an oral presentation or as part of  an poster presentation at the Arkansas Undergraduate Research Conference held annually at HSU.

So the paper + related work altogether will be equal to two tests, making this one third of your course grade.


The strongest correlate with poor grades in any class is absenteeism. Poor attendance, therefore, punishes itself. Anyone who does not attend class at all during the first week will be dropped (because apparently they’re not really taking the class). The professor reserves the right to drop anyone for profound absenteeism. If you aren’t here when roll is taken, the reason does not matter. Do not tell me that you’re going to miss class or why you missed after the fact. If you miss class, you are responsible for getting copies of the notes from fellow students.

Class participation, however, will be more likely to help your grade than signing a roll sheet.


Have everything off and out of sight. Period.

If your phone rings or vibrates loudly enough for your professor to hear it during class, every ring is a classroom disruption and can cost you points. If it rings once, make sure it does not ring a second time.

Do not text because that is distracting to others. If you need to be on your phone that badly, then you need to be somewhere else. Each time your phone is in sight (yours or mine) during class, you lose a point from your best test grade.

Your phone and other electronic devices must be OFF and OUT OF SIGHT during tests. You are responsible for making sure you cannot even see your phone during the test. If your phone, iPod, or anything else that could contain notes is visible, that will be treated as cheating because too many students use their phones to cheat. I do not have to confirm what was on your phone or related item.

Don’t use computers to take classroom notes. Sorry, but too many professors have run into problems with people distracting other students by sitting there surfing the Internet.


The best way to contact your professor is via email at langlet@hsu.edu.

If you do not normally use your reddies.hsu.edu email address, you MUST set it up to forward messages to you because if I have to email a message to the class, that’s where the system will send it. You are responsible for making certain you are set up to receive messages from your professor.


It is the policy and practice of Henderson State University to create inclusive learning environments. If there are aspects of the instruction or design of this course that result in barriers to your inclusion or to accurate assessment of achievement, such as time-limited exams, inaccessible web content, or the use of non-captioned videos, contact the Disability Resource Center at (870) 230-5475 for assistance. For more information, visit the DRC website at http://www.hsu.edu/disability.

Any information in this syllabus may be subject to change, correction, or other revisio